Last updated July 22, 2021 07:16 AEST
COVID Australia latest: NSW records ‘regarding’ spike in community infections
There is growing fear that New South Wales has lost control of the deteriorating Delta strain covid outbreaks in Sydney, with authorities taking a week or more to identify high-risk sites in the city.
The sheer number of close and informal contacts of those who test positive for coronavirus makes the job of contact tracers extremely difficult, jeopardizing the battle to destroy the number of cases.
Analysis by the Australian newspaper shows a number of locations were identified by NSW Health just days after a visit from someone with Covid-19, with eight locations of concern from Monday and Tuesday falling into that category.
It means that potentially exposed individuals were in the community for at least another week after that.
A gas station in Padstow in the south-west of the city is now a high-risk location, but was visited 13 days ago by a confirmed case, demonstrating the complex task tracers face.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian tried to quell fears that the state is losing control of the various Delta outbreaks in Greater Sydney, but admitted that severe restrictions are taking more time to work.
“We did the right thing to stop the growth that other countries around the world have seen with the Delta strain,” Ms Berejiklian said. « We’ve stopped the thousands and thousands of cases around the world that other countries have had. »
In the blog below you can read more about the NSW covid crisis and follow our live coverage. Our live blog with Victoria news is here.
In news just in, an elderly care facility in Sydney has been closed after a nurse there tested positive for Covid-19.
The Palms facility in Kirrawee is on high alert following the confirmed case and all 65 residents have been isolated for two weeks as a precaution.
ABC News reports that all residents have been vaccinated, but not all employees. The first tests have all yielded negative results.
Authorities in NSW are concerned that the highly contagious Delta strain has moved further west in Greater Sydney.
Much of the fight against the current outbreaks is centered in the city’s southwest, where nearly half of the 110 new cases of locally acquired covid were discovered on Wednesday.
But 29 new contagious ones were further west, with NSW Health identifying eight new suburbs of concern.
They are Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill, Lakemba, Guildford, Merrylands, Belrose, Toongabbie and Seven Hills.
Jeremy McAnulty of NSW Health told the ABC that the virus, which spread from the first outbreak zone in the east to the southwest, has likely moved again.
« We are now seeing the number of cases in Western Sydney increasing, » said Mr McAnulty. « People should be especially vigilant and not hesitate to come forward for tests at the slightest symptom. »
A senior politician in NSW has launched a pretty extraordinary attack on the country’s vaccine advisory body, saying it’s time to be careful and « use our ample and increasing stocks (AstraZeneca) ».
Stuart Ayres is the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and a member of the state crisis cabinet, which decides on the response to the covid crisis.
He told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that current advice for Australians under 50 to avoid the AstraZeneca shot due to extremely rare but serious blood clotting risks should be abandoned.
“With the number of deaths increasing and people under 50 filling more hospital beds, we need to use our ample and increasing supply of AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Mr Ayres.
“ATAGI’s confusing advice has resulted in fewer people being vaccinated and not more. Their short-sightedness has increased the risk of death, hospitalization and illness from Covid.”
He was scathing at ATAGI, saying the agency’s changing advice was « like installing an airbag after a car accident. »
Young people know that « we don’t live in a risk-free world » and should be given the chance to get the shot if they want to, Mr Ayres said, praising those who have already done so.
Good morning and welcome to Thursday’s coverage of the covid crisis in New South Wales.
We start with the revelation that authorities in the state will take a week or more to identify some high-risk places frequented by confirmed cases of coronavirus.
That’s because of the sheer number of close and informal contacts of those who tested positive.
Analysis by the Australian newspaper shows that eight of those locations identified as being in the high-risk category on Monday and Tuesday had been visited more than seven days earlier.
One, a filling station in Padstow, was visited 13 days earlier.
Those delays mean someone else who could have been infected has been in the community for quite some time, exposing others and amplifying the work of contact tracers.
It has raised fears that NSW has lost control of the worsening Delta outbreaks in Greater Sydney, but Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian insists restrictions need more time to work.
We’ll be watching closely for today’s case numbers, but in particular how many of them were contagious in the community.
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